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Common painkillers triple side effects of dementia, study says

Common painkillers have previously been linked to heart risks. Now scientists believe the medication could also triple the side effects of dementia, according to a new report.

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from universities in Europe recently conducted a study, presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, to explore the impacts of opioid-based painkillers. 

To do so, they examined 162 people with dementia and depression from 47 Norwegian care homes, taking note of the medicine they were prescribed.

After they analyzed the results, they found side effects tripled for those who were prescribed buprenorphine, a painkiller prescribed to 15 percent of dementia patients in countries where it is available. They saw a significant rise in personality changes, confusion and sedation. These patients were also significantly less active. 

>> Common painkillers increase risk of heart attack by one-third, new study finds

In a separate study, they evaluated mice with a condition comparable to Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. They said the rodents with Alzheimer’s responded to lower doses of the opioid-based morphine, compared with those without the disorder. Those with the condition also suffered worse side effects and produced more of the body’s natural endogenous opioids such as endorphins. 

In another assessment, they focused only on so-called Z-drugs, a group of medicines including zolpidem, zopiclone and zaleplon. The team analyzed the data for 2,952 people with dementia prescribed the medication and data for 1,651 who were not. 

>> More than 11 million Americans prescribed wrong dose of common drugs, scientists say

They discovered that people who took Z-drugs were more likely to fracture a bone, compared with those who didn’t take them. Bone fractures are related to an increased risk of death in people with dementia.

“Research into antipsychotics highlighted that they increased harmful side effects and death rates in people with dementia. This compelling evidence base helped persuade everyone involved in the field to take action, from policy makers to clinicians, reducing prescribing by 50 percent,” co-author Clive Ballard said in statement. “We now urgently need a similar concerted approach to opioid-based painkillers and Z-drugs, to protect frail elderly people with dementia from fractures and increased risk of death.”

Researchers now hope to continue their investigations to determine whether adjusting the dosage of painkillers given to those with dementia can reduce dangerous side effects. 

Baby boom: 12 staff members at one hospital pregnant at the same time

Something may be in the water at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington.

>> Watch the news report here

Twelve staff members in the physical therapy/rehabilitation department were at one point pregnant at the same time.

Four of them are currently on maternity leave. Three of them have delivered healthy babies.

>> 6 nurses in same unit discover they are pregnant at same time

Registered nurse Megan Ommodt gave birth to her first child, Evelyn, three months ago. She was among the first in the group to find out she was pregnant.

“It’s stressful to be a new mom, so to know that your co-workers are going through the same thing and you can be supportive of each other, it’s nice," she said.

For some other expecting moms, this was not their first time around at motherhood.

Licensed practical nurse Melissa Tucker is expecting her third child. She already has an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“It’s kind of cool to answer their questions about things that they are experiencing that they never experienced before,” Tucker said.

Case in point: Her colleague, Jennifer Reynolds, who said her co-workers knew before she did that she was pregnant.

“I was super nauseous the week before,” Reynolds said. “When I found out, I was running to the bathroom and throwing up.”

The challenge now for the hospital is managing upcoming maternity leaves.

>> Read more trending news 

These women say the patients are loving this, and it’s been a great experience for the whole department.

“All of our patients now know who’s pregnant, how many are pregnant,” said occupational therapist Sarah Rediske, who is expecting her second child. “They love it. They joke about it and bring it up. It’s an uplifter around here for sure.”

Frequent teen technology use linked to ADHD symptoms, study finds

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood, affecting millions of American children annually, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

>> On Does my child have ADHD? Things to know about the condition

While the causes and risk factors of the disorder are unknown, researchers are studying how brain injury, exposure to lead and other environmental factors during pregnancy, alcohol/tobacco use during pregnancy, premature delivery and low birth weight may be linked to ADHD.

But new research published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests frequent technology use among teens may also lead to common ADHD symptoms.

>> On Number of young women using ADHD medicine up by 700 percent, CDC says

The new study out of the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California features data on 2,587 15- and 16-year-olds in 10 Los Angeles County high schools.

Researchers assessed the students’ self-reported high-frequency use of 14 different digital media activities, such as social media, texting, video streaming or online chatrooms during a 24-month follow-up.

Approximately 9.5 percent of the children who reported frequent use of half of the platforms and 10.5 percent who reported using all 14 platforms frequently showed new signs and symptoms of ADHD.

>> Read more trending news 

Compared to others, students who reported using multiple types of digital media multiple times a day were about twice as likely to report new ADHD symptoms over the 24-month follow-up.

Still, about 4.6 percent of the students who were not frequent users of any digital activity also showed symptoms.

“Among adolescents followed up over 2 years, there was a statistically significant but modest association between higher frequency of digital media use and subsequent symptoms of ADHD,” researchers concluded. 

But that doesn’t necessarily mean digital media use causes ADHD. “Further research is needed to determine whether this association is causal,” study authors wrote.

Read the full study at

Man dies after eating raw oysters at Florida restaurant, report says

A man died from a Vibrio vulnificus bacterial infection after eating raw oysters at a Florida restaurant, health officials say.

>> Texas woman dies after contracting flesh-eating disease from raw oysters

The 71-year-old man reportedly died two days after eating the raw oysters in a Sarasota restaurant. Health officials have not said which restaurant.

>> On Restaurants are swapping out seafood — and it could make you sick 

"We have an individual that consumed some raw oysters and to the best of our knowledge had no exposure to salt water, became severely ill and passed away," said Michael Drennon, disease intervention services program manager at the Sarasota County Health Department.

Vibrio vulnificus bacteria is found in salt water and raw or undercooked shell fish. Health officials warn against eating raw or undercooked shell fish or getting into salt water with open wounds. 

The Florida Department of Health's website says symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or fever.

>> Read more trending news 

The health department's website also reports 16 confirmed cases of Vibro vulnificus this year, three of them fatal. 

According to WTVT, the health department is working with the restaurant to gather information during their investigation into this death. 

Read more here.

McDonald’s pulls salads from some restaurants after more than 100 people infected by parasite

Departments of public health in Illinois and Iowa are investigating some McDonald’s locations after people became ill after eating their salads.

CNN reported that Illinois has reported 90 cases of a parasite outbreak since mid-May. Iowa reported 15 cases since late June.

>> Read more trending news 

The Iowa Department of Public Health said there has been an increase in Cyclospora infections that were connected to salads at the fast-food chain. 

“This summer there have been several clusters of Cyclospora illness associated with various foods that are commercially available. This week IDPH has identified 15 Iowans who ate McDonald’s salads in late June to early July prior to getting ill,” Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said in a statement. “Anyone who ate these salads since the middle of June and who developed diarrhea, especially watery diarrhea and fatigue, should see their health care provider and get tested for Cyclospora to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.”

According to an initial investigation from the Illinois Department of Public Health, about one-fourth of cases in the state reported eating salads from McDonald’s before getting ill.

“Although a link has been made to salads sold in McDonald’s restaurants in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, said in a statement. “If you ate a salad from McDonald’s since mid-May and developed diarrhea and fatigue, contact a health care provider about testing and treatment.”

Symptoms of Cyclospora infection include loss of weight and appetite, frequent watery diarrhea, cramping, bloating and increased gas, a low-grade fever, fatigue and nausea. Vomiting is less common, but could still be a symptom of infection.

Cyclospora is not spread directly from person to person, but people get infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces that contain the parasite, according to the IDPH. It is the same parasite that has been linked to Del Monte vegetables, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier,” McDonald’s told People in a statement. “We are in the process of removing existing salad blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers – which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants primarily located in the Midwest.

“McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality control,” the burger chain added. “We are closely monitoring this situation and cooperating with state and federal public health authorities as they further investigate.”

Man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing, could lose arms, legs

A New Jersey man may lose his legs and arms after he contracted a flesh-eating bacteria near a river in the state. 

Angel Perez was crabbing at Matt’s Landing near Camden on July 2. Hours after the excursion, his right leg swelled. Then his daughter said that his leg started becoming brown and black and blistered, WPVI reported

They took him to the hospital where doctors said he contracted vibrio, a bacteria commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria, WPVI reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Perez’s daughter said that the infection is now in his blood and he’s in critical condition, reported.

Doctors are treating him with antibiotics and have to wait until he responds to the treatment before they consider amputating at least three, if not all four, limbs, reported.

He is able to breathe on his own and family can communicate with Perez. 

Two other friends of the family also frequent the landing and have also been experiencing swelling. One had painful swelling in a leg. Another has a swelling on an elbow, reported

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that variations of vibrio can be found in brackish or salt water. Open wounds can cause the bacteria to enter the body. Most infections, 80 percent of them, happen between May and October when water is warm.

Those who contract vibrio vulnificus infections can get so sick that they need intensive care and even amputation of limbs. One in four people die, some succumbing to the infection within a day or two of getting sick, according to the CDC.

Coffee drinker? You’re more likely to live longer, study finds

The list of health benefits of drinking coffee continues to grow longer.

>> On It's official: Coffee is good for you, according to new research

A new study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death compared to non-coffee drinkers.

To understand whether heavy coffee consumption is linked to an increased risk of mortality, researchers from Maryland and Illinois assessed demographic, lifestyle and genetic data on 9.2 million individuals from across the United Kingdom, part of the population-based study known as the UK Biobank.

>> On What is Death Wish Coffee? ‘World’s strongest coffee’ soaring into space

Of the 502,641 participants who consented with baseline data, 498,134 (aged 38-73) with complete data on coffee intake and smoking status (and those who weren’t pregnant) were included in the study.

Over 10 years of follow up between 2006-2016, researchers found the risk of death from any cause declined as participant coffee consumption increased.

>> Read more trending news 

In fact, those drinking two to three cups per day, decaffeinated or not, had a 12 percent lower risk of death compared to non-drinkers, National Cancer Institute research fellow Erikka Loftfield told NPR.

Folks drinking eight or more cups had a 14 percent lower risk of death.

>> On 8 things you never knew about coffee 

These associations were similar for both ground and instant coffee as well and there was no significant difference in risk for people with genetic variants for slower or faster caffeine metabolism.

Researchers noted that coffee beans — not caffeine — may be behind this longevity boost.

"My guess is that they're working together to have some of these benefits," Harvard researcher Walter Willett, who authored a similar study that found a link between coffee consumption and lower risk of early death, told NPR in 2015. “The coffee bean itself is loaded with many different nutrients and phyto-chemicals,” many of which aid in insulin resistance and inflammation reduction.

>> On This is how much coffee can keep your heart healthy, study says

But that doesn’t mean we should all start drinking more coffee.

“At this point, the study provides reassurance to coffee drinkers, not guidance,” Loftfield told the New York Times. “The results don’t indicate that people should begin drinking coffee for its health benefits.”

>> Read the full study at

Mosquitoes in Ohio test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquitoes trapped in Ohio are the first in the nation to test positive for the West Nile virus this summer, reports say.

>> Rare illness: Florida teen tests positive for Keystone virus

Test results released last week from the Ohio Department of Health showed mosquitoes found in Harrison Township in Licking County, which is east of Columbus, had the virus.

West Nile virus is typically spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms can include fever, headache, stiffness, rash, or nausea and vomiting. The Ohio Health Department has already scheduled mosquito spraying as part of the department's mosquito control program. 

>> Read more trending news 

About 80 percent of those who are infected with West Nile do not show any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Watch: Mom cries as deaf baby hears for the first time with implant

One mother was unsure if her deaf infant would ever be able to listen to her voice. But when doctors installed an implant that allowed her baby to hear for the first time, she was moved to tears. 

» READ: Lawsuit says Georgia violating rights of deaf inmates 

A team at Cooks Children’s Ear Nose and Throat hospital in Texas worked with Will and Anna Esler to create an implant for their daughter Ayla. 

>> Read more trending news 

In June, they recorded a video of the little one being fitted for a cochlear implant, an electronic device that takes on the role of the inner part of the ear known as the cochlea. It helps send sound signals to the brain.

When the device is turned on, Ayla, who is sitting in her mother’s lap, smiles and begins to reach for her ear. 

“Yeah, you heard it,” a voice says in the background, and Anna Esler starts to cry.

The recording, which was uploaded to YouTube, went viral, garnering more than 67,000 views within a few days. 

“Every child responds differently when their cochlear implants are activated, and so we didn’t know what kind of reaction she would have,” the mom said in an interview with the hospital. “And even though I knew it would work, there was still some doubt in my mind, so when I saw her responding to sound I was overwhelmed by thankfulness to God and to everyone else who has been a part of this journey.”

According to her parents, the baby girl is adjusting to the new device well, and they are teaching her how to recognize that sounds have meaning. 

“She’s already responding positively — sometimes she turns to sounds [which she had never done before], she dances to music, she’s starting to calm down when we sing to her if she’s upset,” they said. “We really couldn’t be more thankful for the new opportunities our little girl has thanks to everyone in her life.”

>> READ: Teen girl helps blind, deaf man by signing into his hands on Alaska Air flight

Can shaving cream take sting out of sunburn? One mom says yes

A mom from Texas says she has the perfect cure for sunburns. It’s a simple can of shaving cream. 

Cindie Allen-Stewart swears by the lather to take the redness and heat out of the summer sun.

As soon as she, her children or her husband spend too much time in the sun without enough sunscreen, she puts a thick layer of menthol foam shaving cream on the burn, ”Inside Edition” reported.

She posted her treatment, that she credits to her mother-in-law, to Facebook where it has since gone viral.

Then she leaves the cream on the burn for 30 minutes before using lukewarm water to remove. She’ll repeat it a second day if needed.

She told “Inside Edition” that the burn will disappear hours after her hack is used.

But does it really work?

>> Read more trending news 

Dr. Ross Radusky told “Inside Edition” that shaving cream is a good moisturizer. It also contains glycerin to heal the skin and menthol that will cool the burn.

No matter the treatment for the redness and burn itself, Radusky told “Inside Edition” that the best treatment is to not get burned in the first place by wearing sunblock and covering exposed skin. Not only do sunseekers need to watch for burns, they need to keep an eye out for dehydration, chills or mild fever. He also reminds that sunburns can cause skin cancer, ”Inside Edition” reported.

Other doctors agree. 

“The body doesn’t forget what we do to it, and an accumulation of sunburn over a lifetime can promote skin cancer later in life,” Dr. William Huang told Health magazine.

This is just one treatment to take out the sting of a burn. 

Prevention suggested some other home remedies:

  • Cool bath with baking soda to reduce the itch and inflammation. You can also try apple cider, white vinegar or a soothing bath treatment.
  • Moisturize - slather a natural bath oil then a moisturizing cream.
  • Bag of frozen peas, or another cold compress will absorb the heat and reduce swelling.
  • Hydrate. Drink water or eat water-rich foods like watermelon.
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